Player’s Honor

He’s a peacock,
He’s a player.
How is it that
Keshava honors women so well?
He says to me that he is neither
Man nor woman.

He is not stiff
He is not angry
No rules bind him
And the profane is not in his universe.
His heart is wide
His loins are loose and warm.
His center is balanced.
With a body like that,
How could he not be kind to those who call?

Keshava knows women better than most.
How could he not come to
Give Draupadi a river of covering silk?

Mortal men who sleep with a hundred
Get lost in ego.
They get lost in the image of masculinity.
Don’t get caught in your own gender.
Remember who this play is for.

Through his hands the beads of planets and jewels of stars pass.
The one with the peacock feather in his long dark hair.
The one in the forest,
The one from your village
Who waits at pink dusk for a hundred lovers, for you,
On the steamy, languorous banks of the Yamuna.


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